Krystle Lee grew up riding horses, and when she got to college at William Woods University, her love of equines only deepened—so much so that she wound up graduating with a degree in Equestrian Science. Now a member of the American Riding Instructors Association, she also runs Suncoast Stables, a barn specializing in show training for American Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and Roadsters.
Open to students ages 4 and up, Krystle’s riding lessons unlock the fundamentals of styles including English horseback riding and driving, which mostly involves riding a horse while spinning an imaginary steering wheel. Her summer camps cover similar basics, making each lesson more memorable with an added infusion of arts and crafts. No matter the season, the barn’s spacious boarding quarters house four-legged residents that enjoy two feedings per day, automatic waters, and a daily turnout.
Helmed by an owner with 20 years of dance experience and a BA in dance education, Dance Arts Center’s instructors motivate bodies into motion with more than a dozen dance styles. They lead adult hobbyists and career-minded 3-year-old dancers alike in styles including classical ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics. In kids’ classes, instructors teach sprouts up to 18 years old the fundamentals of dance techniques in a non-competitive environment and challenge more advanced students to join the performance team, which takes to the stage at competitions, community performances, and workshops. Students in both the regular classes and the performance team gather to showcase their moves during the center's annual concert, which is one of the last remaining dance events in the country without a panel of sneering celebrity alien judges.
In addition to ballroom, hip-hop, and flamenco dance classes, staffers lead adults in yoga and Pilates regimens to help whip them into peak performance shape.
When Brandi Godcharles discovered pole dancing in 2010, she quickly put her writing career on hold to pursue her new passion. Since then, she's been teaching pole dance full-time, helping instill students with self-confidence while teaching them sultry new moves at Rock N Body Pole & Exotic Dance Studio. During classes focused on movement and dance, Brandi and her fellow instructors walk pupils through pole basics?spins and floorwork, plus proper body alignment and grips. Once students have mastered those skills, they can move on to tricks classes, which teach dancers how to safely perform everything from static sitting poses to climbing the entire pole without the help of a stepladder. Besides group classes, the studio welcomes students for private lessons, and groups of friends can schedule a pole-dancing party.
Public Safety Organization's Fall Festival honors the changing seasons with hayrides and a healthy dose of mud as the festival kicks off with a nearly 3-mile morning mud run. Afterward, families enjoy themselves until sundown, stopping by the petting zoo to bond with barnyard animals, and noshing on autumnal food and drinks.
Key West native Chef James helms The Chef 4 U, channeling 10 years of experience as a culinary teacher, personal chef, and caterer. During classes, the sounds that fill the kitchen grow gradually more confident as students learn to slice veggies, apply the proper bend of citric juices to ceviches, and squeeze salt from seawater for margaritas. The menus for classes and precooked meals alike are ripe with influences from Cuban, European, and Asian culinary traditions, which peep through in shredded pork, wine sauces, and miso glazes. While working in the kitchen to sate his own clients, Chef James flips through a rolodex of ingredients he went to school with in order to craft menus for vegetarian and gluten-free tastes.
At the Tampa Bay Pro-Am, celebrities and PGA Champions Tour golfers thwack balls toward the stratosphere in hopes of securing the pride and glory of a victory whose spoils benefit charitable foundations. Athletes take to the turf of one of Golf World’s 100 best public courses in the country, targeting greens with homing-missle-like precision, avoiding pesky bodies of water, and distracting sand-trap monsters with steaks painted to resemble Jack Nicklaus. The roster of the 2012 edition’s celebrity participants remains shrouded in mystery, but past tournament competitors have included actor Craig T. Nelson, former professional-football player Emmitt Smith, and former UN Secretary General Bill Murray. Proceeds from each year’s tournament are filtered into local or national charities through a sieve made of woven generosity; contributions from 2011's edition went to Special Operations Warrior Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.